Baby development

This song was scientifically engineered to make your baby happy

So we put it to the test. Does it work?

Every parent has wondered what kind of music might settle a fussy infant or make their baby babble with joy, especially during a long car ride or in the midst of a cry fest. As a mom of two, I’ve never found a go-to tune that will calm or cheer my babies, without fail.

That is, possibly, until now. Two scientists and a Grammy-winning musician have developed a song they say is guaranteed to make babies happy.

UK child development expert Caspar Addyman and musical psychologist Lauren Stewart started with existing science about infant music preferences. We know, for example, that babies like melodies that are up-tempo (mirroring a baby’s quick heartbeat); in a major key; that feature lots of devices and changes to keep their attention; and that use the sing-song tones moms tend to use. They utilized this data, as well as some crowd-sourced opinions on babies’ favourite sounds (like “toot toot” and “whee,” from customers of Cow & Gate, the baby food brand that funded the project), to create a template. Then they tapped Grammy-winning musician Imogen Heap, who’s also a mom of an 18-month-old, to compose the ultimate baby-pleasing track.

Voila, The Happy Song.

Does it work? My almost-three-month-old, Maisie, found it pretty amusing (with a few adorable moments of skepticism). She has just started smiling a lot—and giggling—and this tune earned both grins and delighted “goo” sounds. From my perspective, it’s also highly listenable, unlike a lot of more annoying kids’ music. My only criticism: it’s almost too catchy. We played The Happy Song all day at home yesterday (in the name of science!) and I’ve been humming it ever since. That doesn’t mean I won’t keep playing it during tummy time or particularly fussy evenings, though. I’m happy to play anything that will make Maisie smile—even on repeat.

Are you going to test it out? Definitely let us know if it works for your little one!

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